As the old footballing cliche goes ‘what happens on the pitch, stays on the pitch’. Unfortunately, there are some cases where that just isn’t the case – as senile FIFA overlord Sepp Blatter discovered when he made his Jeremy Clarkson-esque statement that racism during a game should just be settled by a handshake. Oh Sepp, we’d laugh at your granddad mentality if it weren’t for the fact you’re an evil, power-hungry, megalomaniac dictator in charge of the world’s biggest sporting organisation.
But aside from Sepp’s mad ramblings, there’s a certain Brazilian striker who’s just about to discover if rivalries really are ‘left on the field’.
Last month, Brazilian striker Michel Platini (not the miserable French, UEFA president one) was playing for CSKA Sofia in a friendly against Dinamo Bucharest when he was fouled by Laurentiu Rus. He immediately reacted by twatting Rus, then started wading into random Bucharest players, sparking an all-in brawl. When the dust finally settled, both Rus and Platini were sent off. And that was that. Or so it seemed.
Watching impassively from the sidelines was the Dinamo coach, who couldn’t help but admire the way Platini maimed, gouged and uppercutted his way through his team. In fact, he was so impressed that he signed him immediately after the game.
Of course, the only snag was Platini had just made himself enemy No.1 among his new teammates. Platini travelled back to Romania with his new team but club officials kept his presence a secret from the rest of the squad as a precautionary measure. “It’s normal for him to be apprehensive about travelling with the team – he was alone and there were 20 of us,” Dinamo striker Marius Niculae told local media.
“It’s something between us and we’ll settle this in the dressing room.”
Well done Marius, we’re sure that vaguely threatening ominous statement will settle his nerves.